As the BJP overtook All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) to become the second largest party in Hyderabad civic election, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday said the party will continue to fight the BJP in a democratic way. Dismissing any ‘BJP storm’, Owaisi said, “Where is the storm? Had there been a storm, BJP wouldn’t have lost in Maharashtra MLC election. BJP had said they would conduct surgical strike in old city. But they couldn’t do anything in my area. We did democratic strike. We contested in 51 seats and won 44. Think what would have happened, had AIMIM contested in 80 seats.” In 2016, the party had contested in 60 seats and won 44 seats, thus making this year’s strike rate better than 2016, Owaisi added.
“We are confident that people of Telangana will stop the BJP from expanding its footprints in the state,” Owaisi said. Owaisi’s party, which is based in Telangana, was looking to make more gains in this year’s election as the party recently won five assembly seats in Bihar. However, the party maintained its stronghold and its 2016 tally — 44 seats.
“We have won on 44 seats in Hyderabad GHMC elections. I have spoken to all newly elected corporators and asked them to begin their work from tomorrow itself,” Owaisi said.
Talking about Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Owaisi said, “TRS in our opposition but in Telangana, it is a formidable political party, it has to be accepted. It represents the regional sentiment of Telangana. I am sure K Chandrashekar Rao will review the party’s performance in these elections. I am sure he will be a big challenge for the BJP.”
The ruling TRS emerged as the single largest party winning 55 wards in the 150-ward GHMC election. The results of 149 were announced as counting of votes had to be stopped in a ward as per a High Court order. Counting had to be stopped in Neredmet ward as marks other than the standard Swastik symbol (crossed arrow mark) were in majority.
AIMIM was crucial in the civic election as Owaisi was the target of several attacks the BJP made during the campaigning. The BJP also alleged that TRS and AIMIM have formed secret coalition. After Yogi Adityanath said the BJP might think of renaming Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar, Owaisi hit back saying that the generation of Uttar Pradesh CM may end but the city will always be called Hyderabad.